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Alabama


Alabama: Governor Given Extension For HAVA Report PDF  | Print |  Email
Alabama
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
September 06, 2006
News services are reporting that U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins has given Governor Bob Riley another week to submit his first progress report as Special Master appointed by the court in the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) case filed by the federal government against the state of Alabama and Secretary of State Nancy Worley. The report was initially due yesterday, the first Tuesday of the month as outlined previously by the court. Secretary of State Nancy Worley filed the mandated accounting documents with the court on September 1.

In the Motion for Extension request filed and granted on September 1, 2006, by the Governor's chief legal adviser, Ken Wallis, Riley says "Though this team is very nearly assembled, there remains one person who has not fully committed to serve and cannot be briefed on the matter until next week. Thus providing the Governor until September 12, 2006, to submit his initial progress report will enable him to then announce the entirety of his implementation team, rather than an incomplete slate."

In August Watkins gave Riley the title of "special master" and placed him in charge of developing an overdue statewide voter registration database. The decision was over the objections of Democratic Secretary of State Nancy Worley and the Alabama Democratic Conference. The request of the Justice Department to move the responsibility for the voter database to a partisan elected official is unusual. Typically, the government would seek an order telling a state official what to do, or it would ask to have a nonpartisan person appointed as a special master. Alabama is one of several states that have missed the deadline for implementing a statewide voter registration database and the Department of Justice (DoJ) has taken strikingly different approaches to the state’s that are not yet in compliance.

Riley is to "develop and implement a single, uniform, official, centralized, interactive computerized statewide voter registration list in elections for federal office which complies with Section 303 of the HAVA Act of 2002."  HAVA compliance is to be accomplished on or before August 31, 2007.
Alabama Congressman Challenges Department of Justice Decision PDF  | Print |  Email
Alabama
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
August 09, 2006
“This is the kind of situation where the court should bend over backwards to avoid the appearance of partisan politics."

U.S. Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL 7th, pictured at right) has asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to re-examine a Justice Department suit that led to Republican Gov. Bob Riley being put in charge of a state voter registration database, replacing Democratic Secretary of State Nancy Worley, as he leads the GOP ticket on the November ballot. Federal District Judge Keith Watkins last week named Riley to be "special master" in charge of developing the registration database, as required by the Help America Vote Act, a move recommended by the Justice Department.

In a letter delivered yesterday, Davis also asked why the Department had not sought similar relief in other instances where states have failed to comply with their obligations under HAVA and also mentioned Voting Rights Act violations. Both New York and Maine face lawsuits for failure to meet the January 1, 2006 deadlines mandated by HAVA but several other states are not yet in compliance. “It is also striking that in no instance has the Department of Justice under the Bush Administration ever sought such an aggressive intervention in a state’s election process,” noted Davis. “Numerous claims of violations by states under Sections 2 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act, and even more numerous allegations of violations under HAVA have not provoked your Department to ever seek to strip a state constitutional officer of his or her legal authority. In fact, none of the various other states that have failed to maintain computerized voter databases have merited the kind of relief sought and obtained in Alabama.”

According to an Associated Press article, a spokeswoman for the Justice Department, Cynthia Magnuson, declined to comment specifically on Davis's letter to Gonzalez, saying department officials had not read it. But she denied that the department's motives in the case were political.

"This has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with coming into compliance with the law," Magnuson said.
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Alabama: Judge Gives Responsibility For State Database To Governor PDF  | Print |  Email
Alabama
By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA   
August 06, 2006
In an extraordinary move, U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins has given Alabama Gov. Bob Riley (pictured at right) the title of "special master" and placed him in charge of developing an overdue statewide voter registration database. The decision was over the objections of Democratic Secretary of State Nancy Worley and the Alabama Democratic Conference. The request of the Justice Department to move the responsibility for the voter database to a partisan elected official is unusual. Typically, the government would seek an order telling a state official what to do, or it would ask to have a nonpartisan person appointed as a special master.


Alabama is one of several states that have missed the deadline for implementing a statewide voter registration database and the Department of Justice (DoJ) has taken strikingly different approaches to the state’s that are not yet in compliance. Riley was given until Aug. 31, 2007 to set up the statewide voter registration database. A statement from Gov. Riley was quoted in an Associated Press article "The appointment of a special master is not something I sought, but I accept the judge's appointment and will work in a non-partisan manner to make Alabama compliant with the law. It's inexcusable that our state isn't already compliant."

The contentious hearing on Wednesday in which deep and long-standing disagreements between the Governor and Secretary of state were aired, was described by the New York Times as resembling a “kangaroo court”.  The Justice Department and the Alabama attorney general, Troy King, both argued that Governor Riley should control the voter database. Mr. King, a Republican, was appointed to his job by Governor Riley after serving as his legal adviser, and when Ms. Worley (pictured at left) realized that Mr. King would not represent her interests, she asked him to let her hire a lawyer to argue her side but the judge refused. Watkins also denied motions by Democratic Party Chair Joe Turnham and Alabama Democratic Conference Chair Joe Reed to intervene in the case arguing that the porocess had proceeded in a "non-partisan" fashion in the case and that the HAVA Committee, bi-partisan and composed of 23 individuals, was the "model to implement."

In a local news report, Turnham said after the ruling that it was "predictable". "The appointment of a special master should have been a broader stakeholder group than inputted into the appointment of a special master," Turnham continued. "The party did not object to the special master appointment, to the ruling the other day. What we fear is there's been no statement of how this particular new system could impact minorities and disadvantage voters.  This is not a state where things have gone smoothly for the last half century."

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Alabama: State to Miss Voter Registration Deadline PDF  | Print |  Email
Alabama
By Taylor Bright, Times Montgomery Bureau   
December 10, 2005
Feds Set Dec. 31 for New System; Officials Nervous

This article appeared in The Huntsville Times.


MONTGOMERY - Secretary of State Nancy Worley will miss the federal deadline for implementing a new statewide voter registration system, leaving some preparations for next year's elections unsettled.

Under the Help America Vote Act, the state had a Dec. 31 deadline to implement a new system, but Worley has not recommended a company to provide the new system.

The contract must go before the Legislature's Contract Review Committee, which will meet in January. A spokeswoman for Worley, Tamara Cofield, said this week the state may still comply with the law even if it misses the deadline.

Meredith Imwalle, another Worley spokeswoman, said Friday afternoon the state will continue to use a combination of a statewide voter registration system known as ALVIN and some counties' independent systems through the June primary elections and runoffs. For the general election the state will switch to a new system, she said.
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Alabama Election Administration Information PDF  | Print |  Email
Alabama
By VoteTrustUSA   
July 22, 2004
Chief State Elections Official

Nancy Worley (Elected, D), Secretary of State
State Capitol, Room S-105
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama  36130

URL http://www.sos.state.al.us/
E-Mail:
334/242-7205   FAX 334/242-4993

Elizabeth DeWeese, Administrative Assistant

Responsibilities: Prescribes voter registration forms, Determines ballot eligibility of parties, Approves new voting systems/ devices, Canvasses election returns

Secondary Officials: State Canvassing Board (Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State)

Election/Appointment Process:  Partisan Election

Responsibilities: Handles state recounts
 
Trey Granger, Legal Counsel to Elections
State Capitol, Room E-10
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama 36130
334/242-7476   FAX 334/242-4993

State Capitol, Room E-204
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama  36130
E-Mail:
334/242-7210   FAX 334/242-2444
1-800/274-8683 (Toll Free)

 
Robert White, Elections Director
Elections Division
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